Review: Wit manners buoyant ‘Bad Dates’ – Arizona Daily Star

July 14, 2015 - accent chair

“Bad Dates” is a sharp-witted frisk by a ups and downs (mostly downs) of dating while lifting a daughter, coping with a Romanian host and using a renouned restaurant.

Shanna Brock portrays enthusiastic singular mom Haley Walker in Theresa Rebeck’s “Bad Dates” during Live Theatre Workshop by Aug. 8.

The one-woman uncover is set in a shoebox-cluttered, clothing-strewn bedroom of Haley’s rent-controlled New York apartment. She left her druggie husband, fled Texas with her immature daughter and resettled in New York, holding a waitressing pursuit to make ends meet.

When a restaurant, that doubles as a money-laundering front, is busted, Haley starts to run a eatery and discovers she’s a “restaurant simpleton savant.”

She turns it into a function place, and for several years devotes her time to building a grill and to lifting her immature daughter before she decides to start dating again. References to Joan Crawford’s 1945 “Mildred Pierce” abound.

Brock, adopting a Southern twang, gives an enterprising performance, and her character’s smart chaff pops with personality. Brock’s Haley tells her stories to a assembly as if it were a pal, interacting, spasmodic flirting and seeking for opinions on garments and shoes, that got copiousness of oohs and ahhs during Sunday’s matinee.

Under a instruction of Sabian Trout, Live Theatre’s artistic director, Brock glides by perplexing on outfits to find a right one for a date and caresses boots (her impression has about 600 pairs) as she shares glimpses of Haley’s life experiences.

The dialogue-rich script, that Brock buoyantly delivers, is frail and splendid and punctuated with food and grill lingo that lets Haley’s imagination show. Brock’s Haley is likable, relatable, eccentric and a pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps gal.

Two quibbles: Brock moves effectively on a insinuate bearing museum stage, however, a chair is infrequently positioned so that many of a assembly can not see Brock when she sits on a chair.

Second, for a many part, Brock gives a plain opening as a saucy, generous Haley. However, that big-as-Texas accent was biting several times.

“Bad Dates” is a bouncy, beguiling museum experience.

There are insights — like how an knowledge can impact your feelings about a span of boots — and tract twists, though delight and wit order “Bad Dates.”

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